Google TV: Catching up on Logitech Revue rumors

Yesterday I got an email from Logitech reminding us that the Revue, Logitech's Google-TV-in-a-set-top-box is coming our way soon, and I realized I'd neglected to post about a release date rumor that's been making the rounds. Allow me to rectify that. The last thing we'd heard about Google TV was Intel CEO Paul Otellini saying it would arrive next month (October). Then last Thursday Engadget got an anonymous tip (those guys get all the best anonymous tips!) that the Logitech Revue was going on sale on September 29th at a price of $299. Now, more than a week has gone by without any further word on this, and I'm hoping that it was a bogus tip.

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It isn't that I'm not eager for the Revue to ship: I am. But $300 is just far too high a price to pay. I've been beating up Boxee for the $200 price tag on the Boxee Box, and here comes Logitech selling Google TV for $100 more? Madness. The sad thing is, now that I've pondered the price I do find the rumor believable. Logitech has put its Harmony Remote technology in the thing and they sell Harmony Remotes for anywhere from $50 to $250, so they may well think they can get away with $300 for the Revue. I just can't see the things flying off the shelves at this price, but maybe Logitech is only interested in upscale home theater installations. But no, that isn't the case either, because the same tipster told Engadget that Dish Network subscribers would be able to buy a Revue for only $179, and I don't know about you but I don't think "Dish Network" when I'm thinking about high-end home theater. Isn't Dish the cheap alternative for folks who don't want to pay the cable industry's too-high prices? So I don't know what Logitech is thinking. Perhaps Direct TV is just the first in an intended line of partnership deals. Maybe buying the Revue at its $300 retail price will be the equivalent of buying a smart phone off contract and most people will get the device at a discount via their television provider. The only problem with that theory is that I'm not sure the TV providers are crazy about this idea of pulling streaming video from the web onto the living room TV. Maybe I'm over-thinking this, and their plan is just to release the Revue at $300 and then cut the price over time? Get the max they can from bleeding edge adopters? Once we get televisions and/or Blu-ray players that have Google TV technology baked in, the Revue is going to have an even harder time selling. What do you think? Am I out of line? Is $300 a fair price for a set-top box that lets you search for and stream content to your TV from a variety of sources? While you ponder those questions, I'll leave you with the latest in the series of creepy Revue marketing videos that Logitech has been causing nightmares with.

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